Destiny is a complicated game series. It was the first full scale effort to bring MMO-style games to consoles, with expansion packs and multiple classes and a big focus on community. Ultimately, Destiny launched to lukewarm reviews. Like most MMOs, it fully realized its potential following the release of its expansions. The only thing hindering Destiny at that point was its split between generations, and between platforms as well. There were essentially four versions of Destiny split between the PS3, the PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.
It is also curious that Bungie, the legendary developer behind the creation of the Halo Series, opted to pursue a sequel to Destiny instead of just phasing out support for the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions. The upside to that though, is Destiny 2 is finally coming to the birthplace of MMOs: PC. This week it is in open beta for anyone who has a Battle.net account and a decent PC.
Here is a video of the opening levels of the Beta:
While the mechanics are sound, there are some weird choices in the default control scheme and the enemy design is pretty dated. I had only dabbled in Destiny during its launch, and I am surprised that it is still missing simple hallmarks of the MMO genre, such as ally health bars. I am also very confused as to why the Beta starts you at max level, as part of the experience of an MMO is leveling and swapping out gear.
It wasn’t made immediately clear which weapons were better than others, or what stats I should be focusing on to get the most out of my character. This is incredibly jarring, as it is clear the Beta is catered to the hardcore Destiny fan, but previous iterations Destiny didn’t have a PC presence at all. This causes the Beta to come off as a jumbled mess that is only for the hardcore fan.
On top of all of that, while Destiny 2 impresses in the fluidity of shooting and the amazing graphics, even on a low end rig, the servers are still split between consoles and PC. PS4 players are only able to interact with PS4 players, while PC players can only interact with PC players.
Meanwhile, Rocket League is off allowing everyone to play together regardless of platform, and that is an indie game that doesn’t have near the amount of resources Bungie has. It is clear the PC version is the best version of the game though, as it runs incredibly clean with hardly a drop in performance. During the Xbox One and PS4 Betas last month I did notice some framerate chugs when too many particle effects exploded from your defeated enemies, but on the PC these chugs are non-existent.
Despite these flaws, I am eager to see what Destiny 2 looks like from the level 1 experience onward, hopefully in the form of a free weekend following its launch. The console versions of Destiny 2 launch September 6th, with the PC version following on October 24th.